Match Report – Ebbw Vale RFC 25 Newport RFC 31

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Newport Win Gwent derby 

The Steelmen came agonizingly close to doing the double over their Gwent rivals on what was a fresh Saturday afternoon.  

The home side came out with the bit between their teeth and were awarded a penalty within the first few minutes. Top points scorer Evan Lloyd successfully kicked the first points of the afternoon. However, moments later the young outside half missed an attempt to put the hosts six points ahead.  

The first try of the afternoon was scored by the Black and Ambers. From a lineout just inside the away side’s half, a break through the centre by winger Lloyd Lewis, saw the speedster draw the last man and pass to scrum half Che Hope to dart over the line from just inside Ebbw’s twenty-two. Number ten Matt O’Brien added the extra two points.  

Ebbw Vale scored their first try when from good forward play, a quick flat pass inside the Newport twenty-two by Evan Lloyd put winger Jordan Thomas in at the corner. Lloyd successfully kicked the conversion.  

The away side were soon level when fly half O’Brien kicked a penalty from around the hosts twenty-two, after the referee awarded a penalty for ill-discipline. 

The Steelmen were reduced to fourteen men, when the referee adjudged second row Dylan Bartlett to have taken an opposing player out on the floor. However, worse was to follow, with the Black and Ambers trying everything to get over the try line, Ebbw Vale scrum half Jon Evans was shown a yellow card for playing the ball on the floor to reduce the Steelmen to thirteen men.   

With a two man advantage and in the hosts twenty-two, quick thinking by fly half O’Brien, saw the number ten kick the ball out to winger Elliott Frewen, who stepped inside his man to score the try. O’Brien added the two points to put his team ahead by seven.  

However, Ebbw were to score the last points of the first half, when the referee awarded the home side a penalty at the scrum inside the Newport half. Flyhalf Lloyd successfully kicked the penalty to make it a four point game going into the interval. 

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 13 Newport RFC 17  

The visitors came out for the second half and within minutes had scored a third try. From a penalty, outside half O’Brien kicked to the corner. Winning the lineout, the away side’s forwards got up a head of steam and ended with hooker Henry Palmer crossing the line. O’Brien again sent the kick through the middle of the posts.  

Ebbw Vale coach Jason Strange decided to make changes to the front row. Prop Morgan Davies and co-captain Joe Franchi replaced Luke Garrett and hooker Ieuan Morris. Moments later, further substitutions by Strange saw flanker’s Kobi Rees be replaced by Ben Main and Ewan McIntyre come on for Cameron Reagan.  

The substitutes were to make an instant impact. From a penalty in the away side’s half, outside half Lloyd kicked to the corner. Winning the lineout, the home side forwards flexed their muscle and ended with hooker Joe Franchi barge over the try line out wide. From the touchline Lloyd was unable to add the extra’s.  

The Steelmen’s coach Strange brought on Owen Hatherill for Adam Court and moments later centre Dom Franchi replaced Morgan Richards.  

Ebbw Vale were to go into the lead when hooker Franchi scored his second and the team’s third try of the afternoon after good play by the forwards. Lloyd successfully added the conversion to put the Steelmen one point ahead going late into the game.  

Another change for the hosts saw Ryan Gardner come on for try scorer Jordan Thomas.  

With the game going deep into injury time, a lost Ebbw Vale lineout saw the Black and Ambers score the match winning try. With the forwards going through phase after phase inside the Ebbw twenty-two, a quick pass out to winger Elliott Ferriman, saw the replacement forward touch down in the corner. O’Brien successfully added the conversion.  

The hosts coach Strange emptied the bench in the final moments when scrum half Rory Harries replaced Jon Evans.  

With the game drawing to a close, the referee awarded a penalty from the scrum to the Steelmen and saw Lloyd put in an excellent kick to give the home side a lineout on the Newport twenty-two. However, Ebbw were unable to find their target at the lineout and the referee brought the game to a close.  

FT: Ebbw Vale RFC 25 Newport RFC 31  


Tries: Jordan Thomas (1), Joe Franchi (2)  

Conversions: Evan Lloyd (2) 

Penalties: Evan Lloyd (2)       

After the game we spoke with Ebbw Vale Hooker Ieaun Morris. Ieuan thought the home side played well, However, Newport played in the right areas and lived off the Steelmen’s mistakes. Ieaun finished by acknowledging the team expected to have played better.  

The Steelmen’s next game is away to Swansea RFC at St Helen’s in the Indigo Premiership on Saturday 30th March 2024, with kick off at 14:30. 


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans 

Llandovery make it to the final

An uncharacteristic performance by the Steelmen saw the Drovers win the game and reach the Premiership Cup Final at the Millenium Stadium in April.

From the off Llandovery got on the front foot and never let up. Their first points came from the boot of number ten Ioan Hughes, who successfully sent a penalty through the uprights.

Within two minutes of the restart, the Drovers scored their first try. A great bit of play by Jac Davies, saw the full back score a fine solo try. On this occasion Hughes was unable to add the points.

Llandovery’s second try was to follow five minutes later. After good play, outside half Hughes rounded off a good team try. Hughes converted his own try.

The Drovers were to score their third try of the game ten minutes later. A cross field kick by scrum half Lee Rees, saw the ball end up in the hands of Adam Warren, who went over in the corner. Hughes extended the lead to twenty-two points.

With the Llandovery forwards enjoying the occasion, more forward domination ended with prop Jamie Hughes cross the line to score Llandovery’s fourth try of the afternoon. Hughes successfully kicked the conversion to extend the lead further.

Within the last few moments of the first half, Ebbw flanker Lewis Young was shown a yellow card.

Half Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 0 Llandovery RFC 29

Ebbw came out for the second half with pride at stake. Not long into the half coach Jason Strange replaced Luke Garrett with Morgan Davies, Alex Howes came off for Ryan Jenkins and full back Morgan Richards was replaced by Reece Dunne.

The first try of the second half came twelve minutes after the restart. A kick from his twenty-two by Jac Davies, saw the full back collect the ball and race over to score his second try of the afternoon. Hughes sent the conversion through the posts.

In the aftermath, Ebbw Vale centre Ethan Phillips was shown the yellow card, to spend ten minutes in the sin bin.

Ebbw coach Strange made further changes, with centre Dom Franchi replaced by Kieran Meek. Moments later, prop Harry Drane came on for Adam Court, scrum half Rory Harries replaced Jon Evans, Co-captain Rhys Francis came on for fellow captain Joe Franchi and flanker Cameron Reagan was replaced by Ewan McIntyre.

Ebbw’s only try of the afternoon came on seventy-six minutes, when replacement Reece Dunne intercepted a pass and raced over from the half-way line to score his first try for the club. Kieran Meek successfully added the two points.

The final try of the game came with two minutes left, when Llandovery number eight Joe Powell crossed the line. Replacement Jack Maynard scored the final points of the afternoon.

Full Time: Ebbw Vale RFC 7 Llandovery RFC 43


Try: Reece Dunne

Conversion Kieran Meek


Ebbw Vale’s next game see’s the Steelmen return to league action, in a Gwent derby against second placed Newport RFC on Saturday 23rd  March 2024 at the Ciner Glass Community Stadium, with kick off at 2:30pm.


Written by Alex Kinsella-Evans

Ebbw Vale RFC vs Llandovery RFC cup semi-final preview

Ebbw travel to the Talbot Athletic Ground, Aberavon on Saturday 2nd of March 2024 to play their hotly anticipated Welsh cup semi-final against Llandovery RFC.

Having beaten Cardiff RFC in the quarterfinals at the start of December 2023 and winning away to Bridgend Ravens RFC last time out, Ebbw will be looking to reach the final in the Millennium stadium in April.

With honours even in the league this season, the Steelmen`s coach Jason Strange will be hoping for a strong performance from the team on Saturday which will lead to a win and their first appearance in a Welsh cup final since 1998, when they travelled across the Seven Bridge to Ashton Gate, Bristol to play Llanelli RFC.

One change to the starting lineup from the Bridgend game sees the experienced centre Dom Franchi replace Kieran Meek. Hard working hooker Joe Franchi captains the side with fellow co-captain Rhys Francis on the bench.

The Ebbw Vale team is as follows:

15 Morgan Richards 14 Ewan Bowden 13 Ethan Phillips 12 Dom Franchi 11 Jordan Thomas 10 Evan Lloyd 9 Jon Evans

1 Luke Garrett 2 Joe Franchi (CAPT) 3 Adam Court 4 Dylan Bartlett 5 Curtis Gregory 6 Cameron Regan 7 Lewis Young 8 Alex Howes

Replacements from

Morgan Davies, Rhys Francis, Harry Drane, Ewan McIntyre, Ben Main, Ryan Jenkins, Rory Harries, Kieran Meek and Reece Dunn

The winners of the game will play the winners of the Merthyr RFC vs Swansea RFC semi-final at the Millennium Stadium in April 2024.

The Steelmen look forward to hearing the vociferous support of the Addicts on Saturday at the Talbot Athletic Ground. The Welfare will be open from 9am for breakfast. The Addicts buses will be leaving the Welfare at 12.30pm.

For those travelling to TAG by car the postcode is: SA13 1AB

The full address is: 39 Manor St, Port Talbot SA13 1AB